First political meet in a year disallowed

The authorities on Wednesday foiled the meeting of political leaders at the residence of National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah here. This was the first meeting called by a politician in a year.

From Tuesday morning, police and paramilitary forces sealed Gupkar Road and nobody was allowed to move. The road was blocked with razor wire and armoured vehicles while security forces patrolled the area.

Dr Abdullah had invited leaders of many political parties for a crucial meeting to chalk out political strategy on Article 370 which was abrogated by the central government this day last year.

Contingents of police arrived at the residence of some leaders who were scheduled to attend the meeting. The meeting was scheduled to be attended by representatives from NC, Congress, CPI(M), PDP, JKPM, PDF and other parties.

Politicians that included Mir Fayaz of PDP and MP Hasnain Masoodi of NC were asked to return when they arrived at Gupkar to attend the meeting.

“Locks on gates, lockdowns as celebrations and lies as defence has been the hallmark of last year. Today, political leaders were supposed to meet at Dr Farooq Abdullah’s residence to discuss the political challenges the region is facing. But unfortunately, we were not allowed,” tweeted Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami of CPI(M).

To his tweet, NC Vice President Omar reacted by saying that this is the new normal of “new Kashmir.”

“Not to worry Tarigami Sb some senior journalists have been parachuted into Srinagar to tell the nation how normal everything is. I suppose in a sense they are correct because this IS the new normal for “new Kashmir”,” tweeted Omar Abdullah.

Besides locking politicians, police sealed the offices of some political parties that include PDP. A handful of its middle rungs leaders that included Shafi Kunder, Arif Laigaroo held protests in Rajbagh area of the city.

Police said that section-144 is imposed in Kashmir in wake of COVID19, so no gatherings are allowed.

However, videos showed BJP leaders and workers celebrating the day with gala events at party offices.